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Magic Johnson Returns To Scandinavia

November 5, 2000

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) _ Magic Johnson returned to Scandinavian basketball Sunday, but his new Danish club looked anything but great.

The Magic Great Danes lost 97-68 to Zalgiris of Lithuania in the Northern European League.

The 41-year-old Johnson had nine points, 14 assists and eight rebounds in his first game in Denmark. Last season, the former NBA great was unbeaten in five games with his former Swedish team, Magic M7.

Mark Sanford, who played in college at Washington, led all scorers with 20 points.

Johnson had not played a competitive game since his own Midsummer Night’s Magic game in August at UCLA. On Tuesday, he’ll play again for the Magic Great Danes against a Finnish team in Copenhagen.

Zalgiris is one of Europe’s top teams. Two of Zalgiris’ players, Kestutis Marciulionis and Tomas Masiulis, were on the Lithuanian team that lost 85-83 to the United States in the semifinals of the Sydney Olympics.

Johnson helped the Lakers win five NBA titles. He tested HIV-positive in 1991 and retired before the start of the 1991-92 season but played in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

He made a brief comeback before the 1992-93 season. In January 1996, he played the last half of the season and retired again after the Lakers were eliminated from the playoffs.

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